May 2021 Mini-Reviews

Review: Better Together by Christine Riccio

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Siri and Jamie are opposites in every way possible. Siri grew up as a ballet dancer in New Jersey, while Jamie is an aspiring comedian in Los Angeles. It’s been 14 years since they’ve seen each other, since Siri grew up with their mom and Jamie with their dad. 

A wellness retreat in Colorado changes everything. With both girls going through a difficult time, they needed a week to be able to move forward. Little did they expect to find each other. Only, Siri has a total breakdown when seeing Jamie and Jamie doesn’t know why. These family secrets run deep. 

The two decide to hatch a plan to switch places, finally learning more about the other parent. Easier said then down because the two know practically nothing about each other’s life. This experiment is bound to lead to disaster. 

We really wanted to love this book. We tried so hard to get into the story…it just didn’t happen. While we had fun reading Riccio’s quirky and fun Again, But Better, Better Together left us disappointed. 

First, let’s start with why Siri was shocked to learn about Jamie. She didn’t know her sister was real, while Jamie knew about Siri all along. Siri was put in therapy as a child to get over her “imaginary friend” Jamie. We knew from that point on everyone in Siri’s life lied to her and were horrible people. 

Second, the plot had little creativity. It felt like Riccio literally combined The Parent Trap and Freaky Friday. The girls switch places, but then somehow they also switched bodies. We were so confused and perplexed by the mixing of the plots. 

Third, Jamie is so mean to everyone in her life. She tries to come off as being funny, but she really hurts those around her. She makes Siri cry…a lot. She also uses Zarar, a guy she met at camp, for sex. Yet, she spent most of the book treating him like garbage and he still wants her. 

The one bright spot for us was Siri, we related to her being a perfectionist and thought she deserved better. Everyone lied to Siri and she lost her dream of being a dancer. Can this girl catch a break? 

As for the ending, everything was drama and crying, then magically everything worked itself out. The problem was Grier and Mara (the parents) were two horrible people for everything they put their kids through. They were both also super obsessed with Game of Thrones to an almost creepy level. We’re glad that Siri found some peace and romance, we just couldn’t like any of the other main characters. 

Overall, this just wasn’t the book for us. We were hoping for something similar to You Have a Match by Emma Lord. We’d still read another book from Riccio in the future though. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️/⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Review: Rule #1: You Can’t Date the Coach’s Daughter by Anne-Marie Meyer

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Being around hot football players all day? It sounds like a dream come true. Except when your dad is the coach and will kick off any of the players who even look at you. Destiny Davis has been labeled undateable because of her dad’s threats.

Still, Destiny can’t help lusting over Tyson Blake during football practice…which Destiny has to attend every day as a water girl. But when Tyson needs a tutor, Destiny can’t help but say yes, hiding their newfound arrangement from her dad. 

Rule #1: You Can’t Date the Coach’s Daughter was cute and sweet. Tyson had some hidden depth and treated Destiny really well throughout the book. We also like Destiny and empathized with her overprotective father. 

Not too much happened in this YA contemporary. But if you’re looking for something sweet and fun, pick it up. It’s something you can read in a day. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Published by I'm All Booked Up YA

We write recommendations and reviews for YA books.

25 thoughts on “May 2021 Mini-Reviews

  1. I was so interested when I saw the cover of that first book – and even the plot sounded interesting. However, after reading your review, I was so sad. It’s a huge bummer when a book disappoints like that. At least the other book was cute, if nothing else haha!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sorry, the books didn’t work out well for you. But hey, if you’re looking for books that touch sports and romance, I recommend Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks series! Catching Jordan is a classic fave of mine!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The plot of Better Together does remind me of The Parent Trap, but it’s a shame that it was a letdown. That’s also weird they switched bodies without explaining it. At least Siri was a likable and relatable character, but the other characters especially Jamie don’t sound good at all!

    The other book sounds cute, but I think I would need more things to happen in the plot if I were to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s a shame you didn’t like “Better Together” so much because I was hooked as soon as it said she was a former ballet dancer. I love dance being incorporated into books in some way and I would have snapped this up but I can see why you weren’t fully satisfied with it.

    Like

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